Returning veterans sometime have a difficult time finding a job or getting back into the swing of everyday life in America. The solution for many veterans is a career in CDL Truck Driving! The trucking industry is in need of new drivers, and veterans are often excellent candidates for trucking jobs!
The skills and experience veterans gain while in the service are very needed and appreciated in the trucking industry. Things like dependability and teamwork are instilled through the military and are a few of the qualities carriers look for in truck drivers. Veterans also have a few unique advantages in the trucking industry that make the career an excellent fit!
Why veterans are such a good fit for CDL trucking jobs
Professional truck driver Nathan Waite, who drives for Stallion Transportation Group, is an Army veteran who says he learned to pay attention to detail in the military.
“We have to constantly monitor our truck, inspect it and make sure everything is what it’s supposed to be,” he says.1 He goes on to say that he also learned self-discipline. “It does take a lot of self-discipline to drive a truck, be on time, and get up out of bed when you’re supposed to. They definitely teach you that in the military.”
Brad Vaughn, vice president of driver recruiting for Maverick Transportation, says “Veterans are accustomed to being self-sufficient. Veterans are accustomed to being away from home. Veterans are accustomed to being in a very structured environment. When you take a veteran who has been on multiple tours, being gone a week is not a big deal to them.”1
Russell Melton Jr. is another veteran driver for Stallion Transportation who applied his seven years of military driving to a truck driving career.
“They both have the same philosophy, which is hurry up and wait. I would say the Army teaches you a lot of patience,” said Melton. “Anything can happen out here on the road; you can have protesters blocking the road for hours, and when this truck’s sitting I’m not making a dime. You’ve got to be patient.”1
DMV.org2 lists these reasons why military veterans make good truck drivers:
- Situational Awareness – Truck driving can be very dangerous considering that it involves driving a multi-ton truck. Awareness of your environment is very important for the safety of everyone on the road. Situational awareness is a necessary skill for military service.
- Dependability – Truck drivers should be dependable people. They have to stay on top of their runs and mileage and ensure deliveries are made on time. Military personnel are required to be dependable additions to their team.
- Leadership – The website says it the best: “No matter what your rank was, it takes leadership traits to be a member of the military.”2 Leadership means taking the initiative to do what you need to and setting a positive example for others. The trucking industry is in need of drivers with leadership skills!
- Teamwork – It takes more than a single person to move cargo across the country. Although the majority of a CDL truck driver’s job may be driving solo, dispatchers, cargo haulers, warehouse workers, and operation managers are just a few of the people involved in the process. Accomplishing missions in a military team is great preparation for the career.
- Mental Stamina – Military service requires a lot of focus and mental strain. Truck driving also requires a good deal of mental stamina to avoid Highway Hypnosis and fatigue after driving for long hours.
There are many veterans in the trucking industry already!
- B. Hunt reports that about 20 percent of its employees are veterans1
- Johnnie B. Hunt served a stint in the Army before starting J.B. Hunt
- USA Truck founder Robert Powell was a Navy aviator
- The president of Fort Smith-based ABF Freight, Tim Thorne, served in the Army
- Veterans make up 23 percent of the Fort Smith company’s employees1
Many times, veterans can apply G.I. Bill benefits to truck driving schools and may even be exempt from certain portions of the skills test. They may also qualify for hiring bonuses or other benefits from carrier companies. Visit our veteran’s page for more information.
If you’re a returning veteran, know that there is a perfect career path for you in CDL truck driving! Contact a Roadmaster representative today or chat now to learn more about trucking opportunities for veterans!
*wage information provided by Werner Enterprises